St. Agnes - Our Patroness

St. Agnes of Rome

According to St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, St. Agnes was martyred at the age of 12. Pope Damasus adorned her tomb with sacred poetry. St. Agnes is usually represented with a palm and a lamb as symbols of her martyrdom. On her feast day (January 21)  the Pope blesses the Pallium, a stole made from lambs wool which is worn by metropolitans. St. Agnes is the Patron Saint of girls and young women.

Saint Agnes was a wealthy and beautiful young girl. She turned away many generous eligible suitors, all in the name of her faith, for Christ was her bridegroom. Living in the time of the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian, she was under constant threat of torture and death, but she did not falter. Her resolve in the face of all of these threats also strengthened the resolve of the Romans. In an attempt to break the young girl of her faith, many men were sent to harm her but they could not find it within themselves to hurt her. Annoyed at this news, the Roman governor had her sentenced to death. At the execution she remained faithful and strong, encouraging her executioners to finish it, for she despised the beauty which brought out the desires of the young Roman men.

News of this saintly young girl and her courage spread wide and fast. Emperor Constantine, the first Roman emperor to accept the Christian religion thus ending the persecutions of the time, was so impressed by the legend of Saint Agnes that he traveled to the spot of her burial place to baptize his own daughter.

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